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250: Simoncelli wins at Sachsenring
19 July 2009
Marco Simoncelli has taken victory in a shortened 250cc German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, his second win of the season.
The original race, which saw multiple accidents, lasted only one lap before being red-flagged due to light rain. The new race began 25 minutes later, with the race distance cut from 29 to 19 laps, but with appropriate tyre choice still far from clear.
Initially wet tyres were favoured, but a last minute change of heart saw the majority of riders - including the front row of Simoncelli, Hector Barbera, Alvaro Bautista and Hiroshi Aoyama - change back to slicks front and rear, while fifth on the grid Karel Abraham gambled on full wets in the hope of the weather worsening. It didn't.
Seventh on the grid Alex Debon was bravest on the unknown circuit in the early laps and led Simoncelli - in front when the first race was stopped - until the reigning world champion put his Metis Gilera ahead on lap eight.
Debon surprisingly stuck with the Italian to the flag, but both were reeled in by an exciting fight for third.
World championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama clung desperately to the final podium position until title rival Bautista finally made a move stick into turn one at the start of the last lap, with Debon now less than a second ahead.
Simoncelli won by 0.479sec while Debon confirmed his first podium of the season as he crossed the line just 0.049sec ahead of Bautista's Aspar Aprilia. Aoyama was fourth for Scot Honda and Barbera fifth for Pepe World Aprilia.
Aoyama now leads Bautista by a reduced 10 points in the championship, with Simoncelli 32 points from the top in fourth with eight rounds still to go.
Race results - Sachsenring:
1. Simoncelli (Gilera) 19 laps
2. Debon (Aprilia) +0.479sec
3. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.528sec
4. Aoyama (Honda) +0.866sec
5. Barbera (Aprilia) +1.260sec
6. Faubel (Honda) +5.972sec
7. Espargaro (Aprilia) +8.721sec
8. Luthi (Aprilia) +8.762sec
9. de Rosa (Honda) +19.176sec
10. Locatelli (Gilera) +27.950sec
17. Markham (Aprilia) +1 lap
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